dahlia in my garden: Rio Fuego in Coleus leaves

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pain Rx: The Danger of Politicians Acting as Doctors

The current climate in the media has turned so much against use of pain medication, and politicians are joining the hysteria. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has decided to restrict painkillers in his state’s emergency rooms, where the mostly poor and uninsured get treatment.

You absolutely *must* read this opinion piece about the situation before you continuing reading my blog post. Click here and then come back: New Victims In The War On Painkillers

It is ridiculous and unconscionable for politicians to make policies which require medical training and judgment. In a NY Times article regarding Bloomberg’s mandate, one doctor had this to say: 

     “Here is my problem with legislative medicine,” said Dr. Alex Rosenau, president-elect of the American College of Emergency Physicians and senior vice chairman of emergency medicine at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Eastern Pennsylvania. “It prevents me from being a professional and using my judgment.”
     “While someone could fake a toothache to get painkillers, he said, another patient might have legitimate pain and not be able to get an appointment at a dental clinic for days. Or, he said, a patient with a hand injury may need more than three days of pain relief until the swelling goes down and an operation could be scheduled.”

I know that many politicians feel their office gives them such power as to always know what is best for everyone in every instances (and wrongly so), but to believe that they possess the requisite knowledge and judgment to make such a policy staggers me. As the writer of the opinion piece linked above so wisely said, “This is what happens when government decides it should have the power to protect us from ourselves... This policy is going to cause needless suffering. People who genuinely, legitimately need pain medication aren't going to be able to get it. And guess what? Addicts and thrill-seeking teenagers will find other ways to get high.”

Last year I wrote a blog post about a bill in Congress called the Stop Oxy Abuse Act of 2011 introduced by Representative Mary Bono Mack. Although the bill has died in committee, I think you might want to read my post here: Should Politicians Decide Your Pain Level?

It frightens me when I see this anti-painkiller hysteria and I worry for myself and others like me who have legitimate pain and responsibly use their medications. They are lumping us in with the criminals and always look at us with suspicion. Be very careful with your meds and never give your doctors any reason to doubt you. It is now a situation where we are presumed guilty until proven innocent.

It's More Important Than Ever to Make Your Voice Heard

You have a chance to make your voice heard at two FDA hearings in the next two months which deal with opioid painkillers. They are asking for patient experiences and opinion.

The FDA will be holding hearings on January 24-25 on whether drugs that contain Hydrocodone should be changed from Schedule III to Schedule II, which would create tougher rules and restrictions to get prescribed. In early February the FDA will hold hearings to obtain information pertaining to the use of opioid drugs for chronic pain.

If you wish to submit your comments for the Hydrocodone hearing just go HERE and fill out the form. I do not have a link for the second hearing at this time, but I will try to get one by Tuesday-Newsday, so prepare your comments and I’ll do my best to get a link up by then.

Don’t be a person who complains about laws but never speaks out before they are made. We must all stick together for compassionate, reasonable chronic pain medication rules. I’m praying hard.

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